Illustrator Clipping Mask Not Working | Illustrator – Delete Content Outside Clipping Mask

Helen Bradley

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Illustrator - Delete Content Outside Clipping Mask


Hello, and welcome to this video tutorial today we’re looking at how to crop away the area outside a clipping mask in Illustrator before we begin. However, I have more illustrator training at Skillshare Comm. When you sign up for school share, you get access to thousands of classes there, including over 200 of mine in the description below, is a skill share coupon for you, which is at least as good as the current skill share offer and typically, mine is better. I also have illustrated training at Udemy calm and there’s a referral link for each of these courses in the description below. Please feel free to share these with family and friends. Let’s swing back to illustrator and here. I have two elements that are exactly the same. This one’s locked down so that we can just use it as a visual reference on this side. However, I have got a rectangle and it’s operating as a clipping mask to clip away areas of the fill that I don’t want to be able to see, but if I just click away from it and hover over here, you can see that there are areas outside of this clipping mask and the question I had from a user was. How do you get rid of those? How can you get rid of these things that are outside the area of a clipping mask? Well, let’s have a look and see how we do that. I’ve got this shape and let’s have a look at it in the layer’s palette because that’s going to be critical. So this is the one we’re looking at here. It’s a clipping group. It’s got a clipping path and it’s got a group of objects that are being clipped by. They’re clipping paths well to crop away the areas outside this clipping path. What we’re going to do is we’re going to drag this clipping path out of the group and just above it, and so that’s effectively going to make visible everything that’s outside the area of the clipping mask. Then we’re going to select everything and it’s still selected. Actually, you can see that this rectangular path, as well as the group is still selected, so we’ll go straight across here to the Pathfinder palette and click here once on the crop tool and what that does is it crops, everything that is outside the area of the clipping mask? So now we no longer have a clipping mask. You can see it when I open up. This group that all we’ve got is a number of shapes and any excess has been cropped away now at the bottom here. We have a lot of things that sort of look a little bit weird and what these are are no. Phil, no strokes shakes. So when I click on this and just select it, you’ll see over here, it’s no. Phil, no stroke. Well, it’s not actually doing anything in this design, and it would be much better if we were to clean this up, so I’m going to select one of these, and then I’ll go to select and then same and I’ll go to fill and stroke, and that selects all of these No. Phil, no stroke shapes. They’re doing absolutely nothing in the design. I’ll just press the Delete key to get rid of them. And so now we have a nice, neat result. We’ve got a whole heap of shapes that make up this design over here and we have no clipping mask left because the clipping mask was used as a means of cropping away the excess and just a quick visual check of these two shows us that the process of using that what was a clipping mask path to actually crop away The excess has given us the exact same result. So we know that that works now. Well, that last example, work just perfectly. Let’s have a look at an example where it’s not going to work very well at all. I’ve got three shapes here and we’re going to need two of these as references in a minute. This is the one that we’re actually going to work on as I hover over it. You’ll see that there are elements outside the circle that the design is contained within, so we’ve got a circle, which is our clipping mask and we’ve got objects, obviously that outside of that, so if we want to get rid of these bits that are outside of this object. We’re going to try what we did previously. It’s just that it’s not going to work so well this time. So this is the object we’re working with when I open it up. We’re going to have a series of groups. They’re all inside this group here, and we’ve got, of course, our clipping mask when I turn it on and off, you can see what area is being clipped by the clipping mask, so we’re going to drag the ellipse above the clipping group as we did previously we’re going to select the ellipse. We’re gonna select the group of objects and we’re going to they. Pathfinder and well click crop this time. The resulting object doesn’t look like what we started off with. You can see that these areas here have changed color. There’s something wrong with what it is that we just did. Well, let’s have a look inside these objects, so they’ll kept two of them because we’re going to need one in just a minute. I’m going to turn this one off because it didn’t work. So let’s go and look at this one down here. I’m going to unlock it. I’m going to open it up and we’re going to have a look and see what we’ve got in here and this is where the problem is. There is a group here, and when I select this group, you’ll see up here on the options bar that the opacity for this particular group is 25% But if I go to the compound path inside there. Its opacity is a hundred percent now. There is a problem when you’re doing a crop in Illustrator. When you have an opacity that’s applied at a group level rather than an object level down here. We have a path, another one of these, but you can see. Its opacity is 20 percent, but it’s not inside a group that has an opacity change in it. So if we can get rid of the fact that this shape here is inside a group that has a reduced opacity, then we’re going to be able to solve the problem, so I’m going to take this shape and I’m going to drag it out of its group. This is it here. You can see that the shape or the design has broken, and we expected that to happen because we’ve removed an object from a group that had reduced opacity. What we have to do is put the reduced opacity back but at an object level rather than a group level, so let’s make that 25% Now when I click away these two shapes look exactly the same, and they should look exactly the same, because we haven’t actually made a change to the objects. We’ve just made a change to how the opacity is applied to these objects by applying it to a path rather than a group. Now let’s go and take this same one and do the same thing as we did previously and see if the results are different. I’m grabbing my, I’m grabbing my group of objects. I’m going to the Pathfinder palette here. I’m going to click once on crop, and when I click away, you’ll see that these two shapes look identical, so you may encounter difficulties when you have appearances that are applied at a group level rather than an object level. If you try and remove elements from outside the shape. Now this is also why. I would suggest to you that it’s a really good idea to make a duplicate of a file, for example, before you go and crop and just make sure once you’ve done that. Once you’ve finished that the two images look the same, and you’re not being beaten by something that you didn’t see in the file and files can get really complex, so you may not see that you’ve actually caused problems to your document when you’ve used the crop tool on it because there may be so many objects that it’s not clear to you that you’ve actually damaged it in the process. Now, let’s look at finally, at a really simple example. I’ve got a circle and a star. I’ve got this twice. I’m going to set this set up as a clipping group. I’ll select both of them, right. Click and choose, make clipping mask. And that’s what we’re seeing. Is just this piece of the style. It’s gone, do the same over here so that we have a reference point now. I’m going to do the exact same thing and crop this particular shape, so I’m removing the excess. That’s outside the edge over here, so let’s go and see where it is in the layer’s palette. This is the object here. We’re going to take the ellipse out of the group that it’s in we’re going to select the ellipse and the star and we’re going to the crop tool. I’m going to click crop once. Now, let’s look at the result, and you’ll see that the result is not the same as what we started off with. There is a problem when an object has a stroke around it and this star has a stroke around it and a fill. There’s a problem with that when you crop things away. You’re going to solve that by expanding the shape before you do the crop, So let’s just undo everything here. I’m going to the star shape here and I’m going. Expand it with object, expand appearance and that splits it into two things. It splits it into the stroke, which is now a filled shape as well as the fill itself. So now let’s go and do the same thing, so here’s our ellipse, and here’s our group and this time. Let’s go and click the crop tool and the result is what we expect it to be, so it’s not as easy as that might at first appear to use a clipping mask as a crop guide to crop away the excess outside the shape because you can be bitten by all sorts of things, including stroked objects, and as we saw in this example here elements that have an opacity applied to them at a group level rather than an object level. So just be aware of what can go wrong before you attempt this, and if you don’t need to do it, it’s probably a good idea not to do it. I hope this video has been of help to you. I hope you’ve learnt things about illustrator of which you were previously unaware. If you did enjoy the video, please give it A thumbs up, hit the subscribe button and that notification Bell. So you’ll be alerted when new videos are released until next time my names. Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me here on my Youtube channel.